Finding Your Tribe: Creating Genuine Connections in the Lion City [W&S 65 ft Simone Heng]

Connecting with Anyone: Insights from Relationship Experts

In a world where genuine connections seem elusive, we extract from Human Connection Expert, Simone Heng on how to create meaningful connections with almost anyone.

You can look forward to:

  • Gaining strategies for establishing instant connections with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Getting practical tips and advice for overcoming social barriers, and
  • Fostering genuine relationships.

Guest’s Expertise:

  • Simone: Expert in human connections and experienced in living abroad.

Establishing Rapport: Finding Common Ground

Simone, having lived in multiple countries and rapport with people from Europe, the Middle East to Asia, and understands the daunting feeling of stepping into the unknown. She emphasises the importance of rapport-building as a crucial first step in connecting with others. “When we build rapport with people, it’s actually them perceiving that we are from the same ancestral group,” she explains. Simone shares an intriguing anecdote about her father, who successfully neutralised his Singaporean accent and mirrored the body language of his customers, making them feel more comfortable and fostering a sense of similarity.

Simone suggests that to establish rapport, it is essential to highlight similarities rather than differences. She advises steering clear of contentious topics such as race, particularly in today’s polarised world.

Instead, focusing on basic human needs like food, water, love, and belonging can create a safe and inclusive environment. “Food works really well,” Simone notes, mentioning how she struck up a delightful conversation with a Grab driver about the best Bak Kut Teh in the area.

Finding Common Interests: Love, Connection, and Belonging

To deepen connections, Simone recommends exploring common interests and shared experiences. For instance, if both individuals have children, discussing parenting experiences can serve as a powerful bonding agent. Similarly, talking about relationships or dating can create connections based on shared experiences, regardless of one’s current relationship status.

Simone acknowledges that some individuals may struggle with social interactions due to introversion or social awkwardness. In such cases, she advises paying attention to the clues that others provide, such as shared fashion choices or hairstyles. These subtle cues can serve as entry points for conversations and help bridge the gap between individuals.

However, what happens if trust breaks down?

What if shared secrets later become weapons? While anonymity remains key online, in person the risk remains. But as Simone reassures, “Our natural state is connection, not harm… focus onbuilding trust before oversharing personal information.”

Then, what if there is lack in reciprocity?

Simone’s advice? Recognise that such disconnects signal internal struggles, not personal flaws. With empathy and dignity, gracefully excuse yourself while leaving the door open.

Overcoming Barriers: Genuine Curiosity and Active Listening

When faced with individuals who seem closed off or unresponsive, Simone emphasises the importance of genuine curiosity and active listening. She encourages asking open-ended questions that elicit thoughtful responses, rather than settling for closed answers. By demonstrating a sincere interest in the other person’s thoughts and experiences, one can create an environment that fosters openness and genuine connection.

Simone’s approach is rooted in empathy and understanding. She recognises that not everyone possesses the same level of social skills and encourages individuals to meet others where they are. Patience and persistence, coupled with a genuine desire to connect, can break down barriers and pave the way for meaningful relationships.

You can check their full interview on Wise & Shine, Episode 64 on Spotify, YouTube, Google podcast or Apple podcast for valuable insights and actionable strategies for connecting with people from all walks of life. By establishing rapport, finding common interests, and actively listening, individuals can overcome social barriers and forge genuine connections that enrich their personal and professional lives. So, the next time you find yourself in a social setting, embrace the opportunity to connect and let the magic of human connection unfold.

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